There’s no question that the most popular movie of the weekend was Guardians of the Galaxy. Audiences flooded theaters starting last Thursday to see Marvel’s latest film, but not everyone walked away happy. A Regal Cinemas theater in Virginia accidentally played Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians. Not once, not twice, but three times in a row!
In other words, they started the wrong movie, recognized the mistake, forced the audience to sit through previews before starting the wrong movie AGAIN, recognized the mistake, then did it A THIRD TIME.
Obviously, the animated story about Jack Frost, Santa Claus, and more is cute but nowhere near the same as a bunch of outlaws/heroes saving the galaxy.
More after the break…
Dean Browell was in the theater and tweeted the following picture:
— Dean Browell (@dbrowell) August 1, 2014
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the mistake happened in at a Regal Cinemas in New Jersey as well. I mean, a Star-Lord and Jack Frost team-up could be fantastic, but it had to be frustrating for moviegoers amped about seeing Marvel’s Guardians.
Gizmodo commenter and Regal Cinemas manager jedibugs explains how the mixup might have happened:
Someone wasn’t paying enough attention when putting together the playlist, which is actually 3 playlists. There’s a Trailer Pack List and a Feature list (it’s several things because it contains some added on files for black screen and the Blue Ratings band at the end). These are compiled in one master playlist (called an SPL) that consists of the trailer pack, the feature pack and all the proper cues.
When Building the feature pack, someone chose the wrong Guardians because they weren’t paying enough attention… all the files are very long and contain more than enough info to recognize them — because there are so many files, a search has to be done. Someone just did a search for “Guardians” and dragged the first thing they saw in the results to the playlist, I think.
So, then the whole thing gets allocated to the Auditorium (there is a separate playlist built for each auditorium, usually with slightly different trailers, which may be why this didn’t happen for multiple screenings). Allocation sets that playlist into the schedule and downloads all the content in the playlist from the Central Library to the individual projector. It is likely the allocation process that caused the repeated errors.
Likely, when they discovered the error, they went and swapped out the guardians file from the playlist with the correct one. Yes, the correct one. But, as we’ve already established that this particular theater doesn’t know their digital system very well, they clearly forgot to reallocate the file, so the projector essentially didn’t refresh the playlist in it’s system. So they stopped it again and then, assuming they had played the wrong show file (because at this point, they’re freaking out and not thinking clearly in their panic to get the right movie on-screen), they started the same file again, because it was already the right file… And then when it happens a third time, someone finally got on the phone with their district booth tech who told them to allocate.